News from Cape Verde, Angola & Mozambique

Archive for March, 2011|Monthly archive page

Cape Verde Politics & Regional news

In Cape Verde on March 24, 2011 at 9:30 pm

POLITICS

The reinforcement of the foreign front, the introduction of three new sectors of governing, the appearance of two new state secretaries, the maintenance of the number of women in the cabinet and the exit of six ministers are among the main highlights of Prime Minister José Maria Neves’ new government (A Semana). The complete list is as follows:

Prime Minister and Minister of StateReform – José Maria Neves;
Adjunct Minister and Minister of Health – Cristina Fontes;
Minister of Finances and Planning -Cristina Duarte;
Minister of National Defense and Cabinet Spokesman – Jorge Tolentino;
Minister of Foreign Affairs – Jorge Borges;
Minister of Parliamentary Affairs – Rui Semedo;
Minister of Internal Administration – Marisa Morais (independent);
Minister of Justice – José Carlos Lopes Correia (independent);
Minister of Infrastructures and Marine Economy – José Maria Veiga;
Minister of Social Development and Family – Felisberto Vieira;
Minister of Environment, Housing and Territorial Management – Sara Lopes;
Minister of Youth, Employment, Development of Human Resources – Jandira Hopffer Almada;
Minister of Education and Sports – Fernanda Marques;
Minister of Rural Development – Eva Ortet;
Minister of Higher Learning, Science, Innovation – António Leão Correia e Silva (Independent);
Minister of Tourism, Industry and Energy – Humberto Brito;
Minister of Communities – Fernanda Fernandes (independent);
Minister of Culture – Mário Lúcio Sousa (independent);
State Secretary of Foreign Affairs – José Luís Rocha (independent);
State Secretary of Public Administration -Romeu Modesto;
State Secretary of Marine Resources – Adalberto Vieira.

INTERNATIONAL

A deepening of relations in the economic, political and social realms was at the basis of the conversation held between Cape Verdean Prime Minister José Maria Neves and Portugal’s State Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation João Gomes Cravinho, who said that, despite the current political crisis in Portugal, cooperation between the two countries will continue (A Semana).

The German Minister of Transport, Construction and urban Development, Peter Ramsauer, will be in Praia on the 26th and the 27th, for contacts with the Cape Verdean authorities (Inforpress).

A court in northern Russia has jailed six people for the hijacking of the cargo ship Arctic Sea whose mysterious disappearance sparked a global search. The Russian navy said it was eventually found off the Cape Verde islands (BBC).

An intrepid, but ill-starred New Yorker who tried three times to row across the Atlantic Ocean in a small boat has been rescued after spending nearly two weeks adrift in a life raft following a disaster at the very start of his planned 5,000-mile trip. Victor Mooney, of Queens, was plucked from the sea about 250 miles west of the Cape Verdean islands late by the crew of a cargo ship bound for Brazil (Wall Street Journal).

BRAVA

The roll-on/roll-off ramp at Furna sea port adapted especially for the ship Kriola has been concluded. With the new ramp, the hydrofoil unloaded an automobile and other cargo on the island of Brava (A Semana).

DIASPORA

A vacation-home building boom helped the Massachusetts resort islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket top the state’s 14 counties in population growth rates for the past decade. A Capeverdean-American builder sees his business develop with the boom (Bloomberg).

SANTIAGO

Construction on the Salineiro, Saltinho and Faveta dams, all of which are to be built on the island of Santiago, will begin in early April. The country’s largest island will have six such infrastructures by 2015 (A Semana).

Cape Verde Business & Economy News

In Cape Verde on March 24, 2011 at 9:30 pm

AVIATION

Cape Verde signed a Horizontal Air Accord with the European Union. Among other advantages, the accord will provide for the improvement of the legal basis for the continuation of air operations between Cape Verde and the EU member states (A Semana).

TAP Air Portugal may now carry out direct flights to the island of São Vicente. The formal authorization was given by Cape Verde’s Civil Aeronautics Agency (AAC), and the Portuguese airline is making final preparations to begin operations (A Semana).

TAP will operate from 1st July, from Lisbon to São Vicente, with two flights per week, on Tuesday and on Friday (InNforpress).

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FAST FERRY

Tickets for the hydrofoil Kriola will no longer be able to be purchased at the Praia, Fogo and Brava sea ports. Passengers will have to buy the tickets at Cabo Verde Fast Ferry offices or at authorized travel agencies on the three islands served by the high-speed ship (A Semana).

SPLIT SECOND POLLS

TOURISM

After selling out five flights to the island of Boa Vista for the Easter holiday, Portuguese tourist company Solférias has placed another “product” on the market: Santiago, Cape Verde’s largest island (A Semana).

ISI-Serviços e Turismo Cabo Verde, a company headquartered on the island of Sal, will soon begin commercializing its packages in Angola. Cape Verde as a vacation destination is a part of the company’s package known as “African Circuit” (A Semana).

The ports of Cape Verde will participate in Seatrade Africa Cruise, a forum on cruise tourism, held from 10th to 12th May in Durban, South Africa (Inforpress).

Cheap holidays specialist Packyourbags.com adds Cape Verde, Thomas Cook’s new destination for the next winter season (BW).

Angola Business News

In Angola on March 24, 2011 at 9:29 pm

PROJECT OF THE WEEK

Render of the Casa Branca for the city of Benguela, a project of mixed use (Source).

ECONOMY

The Angolan government expects the country’s economy to see economic growth of 7 percent this year with the oil sector accounting for 2.5 percentage points of that total and the remaining 4.5 percentage points generated by other sectors, Angola’s economy minister said (Macauhub).

Angola’s central bank has sold $3.2 billion to commercial banks this year as demand for foreign currency remains “too high,” Governor Jose de Lima Massano said (Bloomberg).

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INTERNATIONAL

Angola’s government dropped its support for Ivory Coast’s incumbent leader Laurent Gbagbo, further isolating him in a dispute over election results (Bloomberg).

TELECOMS

Angola is to spend US$25.6 million in 2011 to begin construction of Angosat satellite (Macauhub).

SPLIT SECOND POLLS

Cape Verde Politics & Regional News

In Cape Verde on March 17, 2011 at 9:53 pm

PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS

Manuel Inocêncio Sousa is now the ruling PAICV party’s candidate (A Semana).

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POLITICS

The Cape Verdean government has launched an Internet page, www.caboverde2016.gov.cv, to discuss and reflect on its program for the next five years alongside Cape Verdean citizens (A Semana).

SPLIT SECOND POLL

INTERNATIONAL

Brazil’s Ministry of Education has announced the selection of 141 Cape Verdean students, who will receive a monthly 545-real stipend to study in the South American country. The scholarships are financed by the Milton Santos Higher Education Access Project, which this year benefited students from 24 countries in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean (A Semana).

Articles published in the international press in recent days and reproduced by the Cape Verdean media have referred to alleged operations by Russian military aircrafts at São Pedro Airport, on the island of São Vicente. It is believed that São Vicente’s São Pedro airport is being confused with San Pedro airport in Ivory Coast (A Semana).

The Cape Verdean government too has “categorically” denied reports in the international press according to which Russian aircrafts allegedly stopped at São Pedro Airport, on the island of São Vicente, while on their way to Ivory Coast to deliver arms. The position was expressed in a press release signed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (A Semana).

DIASPORA

Cape Verdean George Lima, a legendary World War II pilot, passed away at 91 years of age in Rhode Island, in the United States (A Semana).

FOGO

Asphalting work along the 13 kilometers of road between Saltos and Chã das Caldeiras, on the island of Fogo, has been concluded. The road was unveiled one month ahead of the deadline indicated in the contract for the execution of the project (A Semana).

SANTIAGO

5 de Julho Park in Praia will be the site of Cape Verde’s first children’s amusement park. A project elaborated by the Praia municipal chamber and real-estate company Editur, the amusement park, work on which has already begun, will cost some 150 million escudos and be completed in December of this year (A Semana).

Cape Verde Business & Economy News

In Cape Verde on March 17, 2011 at 9:53 pm

OIL

A delegation from the new shareholding structure of petroleum company Shell’s African subsidiary will make an official visit to Cape Verde to establish its first contacts with Cape Verdean authorities and get a feel for the company’s Cape Verdean facilities (A Semana).

RETAIL

With more than 12,000 stores in 31 countries, Euronics will soon open its first affiliate in Praia. Company representative Carlos Zás, from Spain, says that the prices to be applied will be, on average, 15% lower than those practiced by the competition (A Semana).

Deluc, a textile industry from the Brazilian state of Sergipe specializing in men’s and women’s undergarments, is carrying out its first commercial partnership with a businesswoman from Praia. The move marks the company’s first export to Cape Verde, but the intention is to establish a long-lasting partnership (A Semana).

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TOURISM

Demand on the part of Portuguese tourists planning to spend their Easter vacations on the island of Boa Vista is so great that Portuguese tourist agency Solférias has sold all of the seats on at least five direct flights to the island (A Semana).

The US city of New Bedford, in Massachusetts, will be the venue for an exhibition on Business and Tourism Opportunities in Cape Verde, from 27 to 29 May (Macauhub)

Fifty seven brands linked to the promotion of Cape Verde are on exhibition at the Berlin Tourism Fair, underway in the German capital until 13 March (Macauhub).

SPLIT SECOND POLLS

Angola Business News

In Angola on March 17, 2011 at 9:51 pm

PROJECT OF THE WEEK

Render of the 5 star Hotel M for the city of Malanje (Source).

INTERNATIONAL

Scientists say they have discovered the first fossil of a dinosaur in Angola, and that it’s a new creature, heralding a research renaissance in a country slowly emerging from decades of war (News24).

A US-flagged cargo ship and its load of American food aid for Africa has been delayed for weeks in Angola because of questions about ammunition for Kenya it was also carrying, the US said (News24).

BANKING & FINANCE

Emerging markets investment bank Renaissance Capital aims to expand its African presence. Moscow-based RenCap is also targeting deals in oil-rich Angola, Clifford Sacks, the bank’s chief executive for Africa, told the Reuters Africa Investment Summit (Reuters).

Bad debts have increased significantly in the Angolan banking system, based on recent indicators of the country’s financial system published by the National Bank of Angola, Angolan newspaper, O País reported (Macauhub).

Angolan state oil company Sonangol has boosted its stake in Portugal’s Banco Comercial Português (BCP) to 14.59 percent, the company said in a filing with the Portuguese stock market regulator (Macauhub).

MINING

Angola produced 8.55 million carats of diamonds last year, Endiama EP, the country’s state-run gem company, said (Bloomberg).

OIL & GAS

Oil and gas company Cobalt International Energy said U.S. regulators have sought information on allegations of a connection between its Angola exploration partner Nazaki Oil and Gáz and senior government officials of the African country (Reuters).

Oil & Natural Gas Corp., India’s biggest energy explorer, lost a bid to buy Exxon Mobil Corp.’s 25 percent stake in an Angolan oil field, said two people with knowledge of the matter (Bloomberg).

Galp is expanding exploration in regions such as Brazil’s offshore Santos Basin and Angola to improve access to crude supplies and rely less on refining and sales of fuel in Portugal and Spain (Bloomberg).

The project for production of liquid natural gas (LNG) us in its final phase and the start of operation is scheduled for the beginning of November (Macauhub).

RETAIL

Portuguese group Sonae this year pans to invest in the Angolan market, the group’s chief executive said in Porto (Macauhub).

SPLIT SECOND POLL

Cape Verde Politics & Regional News

In Cape Verde on March 10, 2011 at 8:55 pm

ELECTIONS

After having his presidential candidacy endorsed by the MpD, Jorge Carlos Fonseca is considering the possibility of accepting support from other Cape Verdean political forces, namely the UCID, a party that enjoys a considerable electorate on the island of São Vicente (A Semana).

The choice of a candidate to be support by the PAICV in this year’s presidential election was postponed to Saturday due to preparations for the empowerment of the new Parliament of Cape Verde (AW).

POLITICS

The Prime Minister was officially named on Thursday, March 10, by President Pedro Pires. Cape Verde’s new government will be sworn in on March 21, but Prime Minister José Maria Neves has not yet announced the names of those in his cabinet (A Semana).

PAICV vice-president and Minister of Health during the successive governments led by José Maria Neves is being indicated as the next speaker of the National Assembly, according to a well-placed sources. Ramos, who was re-elected to represent the Sal electoral circle in the National Assembly, has so far refused to discuss the subject (A Semana).

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CULTURE

O Novíssimo Testamento, a novel by Cape Verdean writer and musician Mário Lúcio Sousa, was presented at the Camões Institute/Portuguese Cultural Center in Praia, and on March 11 at the Mindelo Cultural Center (A Semana).

SAO VICENTE

The group Cruzeiros do Norte was the big winner in this year’s Carnaval on the island of São Vicente, taking home the awards for best queen, best king, best master of ceremonies and best float. Parading with the theme “The History of the Carnaval,” the group’s theatrical force and decorations lent a fantastical tone to the event. Floats featuring cars, bicycles, children and costumes with circus-inspired signs impresses public and jury members alike (A Semana).

The Mar Azul, a ship which, in the past, carried passengers and merchandise between the islands of São Vicente and Santo Antão, has sunk at Mindelo port. Out of service for nearly a decade, the ship succumbed to the ravages of time and its poor state of conservation (A Semana).

Cape Verde Business & Economic News

In Cape Verde on March 10, 2011 at 8:53 pm

PROJECT OF THE WEEK

Render of the Masterplan for the July 5th Park (Parque 5 de Julho) in the centre of the capital Praia (source).

HOTELS

Leading hotelier and shared ownership resort operator Sol Meliá already manages two properties on the islands which are fast becoming one of the world’s must-discover tourist spots, and the new Meliá Llana will be fully operational by 2014 (Source).

At the end of 2010 Cape Verde had 178 hotel units, or 2.9 percent more than in 2009, which provided 5,891 rooms and 11,397 beds, according to the annual inventory by the archipelago’s National Statistics Institute (INE) (Macauhub).

The employees of the Sab Sab Hotel (formerly the Aeroflot Hotel) on the island of Sal have not received their wages for the last two months, since the hotel stopped its activities in December (A Semana).

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FERRY

The ramp allowing the hydrofoil Kriola to load and unload normally at Furna sea port, on the island of Brava, is in its final phase of construction, which is expected to be concluded before the end of the first half of the month (A Semana).

TOURISM

Say you’re going on holiday to Cape Verde, and the answer will most likely be “where?” – but that may not be the case for much longer (The Independent).

Africa’s Cape Verde can expect to become a hot destination in 2011, with more and more visitors discovering what the West African archipelago has to offer. With the Lonely Planet revealing that the region was on it’s hotspot destination list for this year, and the islands having a rich mix of European, African and Caribbean culture’s, the location is set to attract visitors like never before (Just the flight).

Angola Business News

In Angola on March 10, 2011 at 8:47 pm

POLITICS

Angolan security forces detained 20 protesters demanding the “departure” of President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, who has been in power since 1979, Radio Ecclesia reported (Bloomberg).

Angolan authorities arrested five people, including journalists, ahead of a planned protest against the 31-year rule of President José Eduardo dos Santos, one of its organisers said (Mail & Guardian).

Calls to protest against President Jose Eduardo dos Santos are unlikely to trigger mass demonstrations. “Angola lacks a discontented middle class capable of rallying disaffected groups and sustaining the momentum necessary to force regime change” (Bloomberg).

Many have dismissed the anonymous call to protest as a charade, but the ruling party, the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), has treated it as a credible threat, organising large pro-government demonstrations on Saturday in Luanda and several other cities in a bid to show its strength (News24).

ECONOMY

Angola’s foreign and domestic public debt is valued at US$26.108 billion, US$15.074 of which is foreign debt, which includes that taken on by the state business sector, the country’s Finance Minister said (Macauhub).

The rise in the price of oil and what is considered to be “prudent” macroeconomic management have made it possible for Angola to make budgetary and external accounts improvements, which has led credit rating agency Moody’s to consider increasing it’s rating on Angola’s debt (Macauhub).

INTERNATIONAL

China has extended almost $15-billion in credit to Angola since the African oil giant’s civil war, but has struggled to hire trained locals for reconstruction projects (Mail & Guardian).

BANKING

Standard Bank is looking to ramp up its business in oil-rich Angola. Rival Absa Group is also considering moving back into Angola after leaving a few years ago (Reuters).

LOGISTICS

Angola’s national customs director, said in the city of Lubango, capital of Huíla province, that all provincial customs delegations had the technical capabilities to process goods more quickly (Macauhub).

OIL

OPEC should wait to see how events in Libya unfold before calling an emergency meeting about prices and production, Angolan Oil Minister Jose Maria Botelho de Vasconcelos told reporters (Bloomberg).

Angola has the capacity to pump 1.9 million barrels a day of crude, Oil Minister Jose Maria Botelho de Vasconcelos said (Bloomberg).

Executives of Eni SpA had a meeting with Angola’s Sonangol EP in Luanda and backed the Angolan oil company’s aim to have a direct stake in Galp Energia SGPS SA, Jornal de Negocios reported (Bloomberg).

Cape Verde Politics & Regional News

In Cape Verde on March 3, 2011 at 9:00 pm

DIASPORA

The Reverend Peter Gomes, a prominent preacher, author and professor at Harvard University who participated in the inauguration of two U.S. presidents, has died at age 68 (Reuters).

To be young and Cape Verdean in parts of Dorchester and Roxbury has spelled danger since a conflict between Cape Verdean factions in 1995 turned into a street war. A young Capeverdean-American is helping to save the next generation (The Boston Globe).

ELECTIONS

Support within opposition party MpD appears to be solidifying around Jorge Carlos Fonseca’s presidential bid, to the detriment of the other self-declared presidential hopeful in the political force, Amílcar Spencer Lopes (A Semana).

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BOA VISTA

A number of whales beached themselves this weekend along the coast of the island of Boa Vista. The various attempts to return them to the sea were in vain, and the mammals ended up dying on Estoril beach. The reason for the beaching has yet to be discovered (A Semana).

SANTIAGO

The Ministry of Decentralization’s Municipal Inspection Unit has detected a major case of fraud involving large tracts of property in the city of Praia (A Semana).

SAO VICENTE

São Vicente has innovated the popular saying “life is two days long, Carnaval three,” extending this year’s Mardi Gras celebrations to nearly a week. Between March 4 and 9, more than 40 Carnaval groups, three of which will participate in the official parade competition, will make their way through the streets of Mindelo. This year’s Carnaval is expected to mobilize thousands of revelers, both Cape Verdean and foreign, of all ages, professions and social strata (A Semana).

The Mindelo carnival offers a Brazil-like atmosphere, in a relaxed African setting. Outfits and stages follow the Brazilian model, while the music is truly indigenous. Low criminality rates, perfect weather and temperature conditions and unlimited hospitality further contribute to the Mindelo carnival’s top ratings and reputation (Afrol News).

Cape Verde Business & Economy

In Cape Verde on March 3, 2011 at 8:59 pm

PROJECT OF THE WEEK

Render of a villa in the Salinas Beach Resort for Maio Island (Source).

ECONOMY

Banco Espírito Santo (BES), in partnership with the Chamber of Commerce and industry of the Canary Islands, promoted a conference for investors in Cape Verde from the Canaries (Inforpress).

AVIATION

A new service, by Thomson, has been announced for next Winter from Bristol Airport to Cape Verde, the West African ‘hot spot’. The service to Boa Vista will operate from November 2011 until April 2012, flying every Tuesday, supporting Thomson’s Winter sun programme. Labelled as the ‘new Caribbean’, Cape Verde is increasing rapidly in popularity (Reuters).

CONSTRUCTION

Construction in Cape Verde will be governed by new regulations, published in the Official Bulletin, revising the general regulation of construction and urban dwelling (Inforpress).

The Cabocem cement factory located in Fundão, Porto Novo (on the island of Santo Antão) will halt the production and sale of cement for a one-month period. Technical problems with the company’s equipment are behind this latest stoppage (A Semana).

FISHERIES

Work on the Cape Verde Fish Product Laboratory, the first in West Africa to be accredited with an ISO 17,025 certificate, began Friday, February 25. The laboratory’s physical installations are budgeted at 55,000,000 escudos and will be allocated to the National Fishing Development Institute (INDP) (A Semana).

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TOURISM

Tourist company ISI, which was founded in Cape Verde by Paulo Tubal (who also founded Portuguese tourism company Entremares), now has four braches on the island of Sal, following the opening of an office in Chã de Matias (A Semana).

WATER

A mechanical system able to transform sea water into potable water using renewable energy has been developed at the University of São Paulo (Brazil) Polytechnic School by Cape Verdean Juvenal Rocha Dias (A Semana).

Angola Business News

In Angola on March 3, 2011 at 8:57 pm

POLITICS

Angola’s ruling party said European nations are backing calls by some Angolans for the ouster of President Jose Eduardo dos Santos, Radio Nacional de Angola reported, citing a senior party official (Bloomberg).

The anonymous call for a mass protest in Angola on March 06 has drawn a warning from the ruling MPLA party, which threatened to take “serious measures” against anyone seeking power in the streets (News24).

ECONOMY

Angola plans to be taken off the list of less developed countries in the next three years via investments now being made in the Health and Education sectors, the country’s Foreign Affairs minister, Georges Chikoti said (Macauhub).

Oil revenues have made Angola one of the fastest-growing economies in Africa, but the high cost of living that has come with the boom makes life difficult for many in the war-weary country (Mail & Guardian).

Angola may benefit from a loan package of US$450 million from the African Development Bank (ADB) and US$32 million from the African Development Fund (ADF) over the next five years (Macauhub).

LUANDA

The Semba, a typically Angolan dance, will top this year’s edition of the carnival, due to start on Saturday in the country capital and main act on Tuesday (March 8) at the New Luanda’s Marginal (AllAfrica).

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AVIATION

The Fly 450 Airline Company presented its latest ATR  72-500 airplane in Luanda’s 4 de Fevereiro International Airport (ANGOP).

BANKING

Japanese bank Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation is analysing opening a representative office in Angola, Angolan magazine Expansão reported (Macauhub).

OIL

BP said it would shut its Plutonio oilfield in Angola for maintenance work in April and expected the stream to return to production in May (Reuters).

Angola delayed construction of its Sonaref oil refinery in Lobito to review the cost of the project, according to an official at Sonangol EP (Bloomberg).

Oil companies are preparing to test a theory of reserves mirroring each other across the Atlantic by drilling into so-called pre-salt formations off Angola. They may resemble structures in Brazil that scientists say could hold 124 billion barrels of oil (Bloomberg).

Angolan oil company Sonangol plans to take a direct stake in the shareholder structure of Portuguese group Galp Energia (Macauhub).